Articles from North Dakota
The North Dakota Public Service Commission issued a siting permit on Wednesday for the Emmons-Logan Wind Energy Center, granting approval for as many as 123 wind turbines northeast of Linton. The project by NextEra Energy Resources will have a capacity of about 298 megawatts and will include a 6.85-mile transmission line in Emmons County.
Pure New Energy USA, the company proposing to develop the controversial Burleigh-Emmons Wind Farm, filed an appeal to the South Central Judicial District Court on Friday, challenging the Burleigh County Commission’s recent decision to deny 30 special use permits for the project. According to the notice of appeal, PNE argues it “met any and all requirements for issuance of the subject permits and the board should not have denied its applications.”
Prior to the vote, the commission considered sending the matter back to planning and zoning, as requested by Pure New Energy USA ...“I think this has gone on long enough … I just don’t feel comfortable sending it back and creating more workload for our people,” said Commissioner Kathleen Jones, who made the motion to deny permits for the project.
The company is asking for the opportunity to submit expert testimony and other evidence to respond to what PNE calls “inaccurate, false and/or misleading information” presented during the four-hour public hearing that attracted more than 500 people.
“We should always prioritize the needs of North Dakota citizens over arbitrary political preferences of regulators from outside jurisdictions. Like an out-of-control Black Friday shopper, the only justification for this massive additional spending spree is that the price is right" -- Randy Christmann, Public Service Commission Chairman
The Burleigh County Planning and Zoning Commission voted 5-3 late Wednesday to deny a permit for the proposed Burleigh-Emmons Wind Farm, following a four-hour meeting with passionate testimony from both sides. More than 500 citizens attended the rescheduled public hearing, with more than half wearing a shade of red, representing opposition to the project.
Do rural Americans have a say in what they see outside their dining-room windows, even if that view extends miles beyond their property lines? It’s a more profound debate than it might seem, having as much to do with the future of farming communities and land values as it does with aesthetics. And for the wind industry, it poses a sharp challenge. As turbines get ever bigger and more visible as they spread across rural areas, they become more controversial, threatening the industry’s growth.
The North Dakota Public Service Commission will hold a public hearing in Linton on Friday, Dec. 7, regarding a proposal to construct a wind farm and associated electric transmission line in Emmons and Logan counties. NextEra Energy Resources has submitted applications for permits for the Emmons-Logan Wind Energy Center, capacity of approximately 298.1 megawatts and up to 123 wind turbines.
More than 150 citizens filled three rooms of the venue Wednesday night during a meeting that was initially delayed 45 minutes while commissioners tried to figure out how to properly accommodate all the people who showed up to make their voices heard on the project. After two failed attempts at broadcasting the meeting, which was held in the Tom Baker Meeting Room with police presence, into the two overflow rooms, commissioners made the decision to reschedule the public hearing.
Morton Township may not have the most people in it, but many of those who live here have come out in force against a proposal by Pure New Energy to erect over 70 wind turbines across southern Burleigh County and into Emmons County, southeast of Bismarck…there's even a Facebook group against the project.
Burleigh County Commission agreed to assume Morton Township’s permitting authority ...All three of the Morton Township supervisors — William Nicholson, Brian Dralle and Daymon Mills — are participating landowners in the project, so it would be a conflict of interest for the trio to decide whether or not to issue a special use permit for the wind farm.
The program will allow a landowner or tenant who is dissatisfied by the response of a wind energy company related to reclamation of their property to work with a Department of Agriculture ombudsman. The ombudsman can then evaluate the site, contact the wind company and work to resolve the issues in a timely manner.
Currently, all of North Dakota’s wind energy tax revenue stays with counties ...“You heard last session from a number of legislators that thought that wind was getting a free ride,” Brandenburg said. A bill he plans to introduce when the legislative session starts in January would keep two-thirds of wind energy tax revenue in the counties that produce the energy and send one-third to the state general fund.
North Dakota utility regulators recently approved one company’s plans for removing wind turbines and restoring the land, a step that aims to protect the landscape for future generations.
“How many bald eagle deaths from a North Dakota wind farm can wildlife officials accept?”
Consequently, federal wildlife officials are mulling a morbid question involving a large North Dakota wind farm: How many bald eagle deaths do they consider acceptable for a bird that is legally protected and hallowed as a national symbol?
The department wants to use voluntary guidelines it’s formulating to draw wind companies away from erecting turbines and building roads in wildlife habitat areas. Game and Fish also wants to encourage companies to develop projects to restore or reconstruct habitat elsewhere.
Public Service Commission Chairman Randy Christmann told legislators last week the commission was not involved with the agreement and he believes future offset packages should be handled differently.
One 10-year study conducted in Dickey County showed that seven of nine grassland bird species avoided wind farms in the area. A three-year study of the impact of wind facilities on duck habitat in North Dakota found there were 20 percent fewer breeding pairs in areas with wind towers.
The North Dakota Public Service Commission is requiring wind farms such as this one in Morton County to upgrade to light-mitigating technology, but the Federal Aviation Administration has not yet approved the technology.